1 Nov 2021

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released the PFAS Strategic Roadmap on October 18,
2021. This document describes EPA’s commitment to action for 2021-2024 (the “Roadmap”) in
relation to per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). This Roadmap defines the timeframes for EPA
actions to address PFAS across environmental and under authorities such as Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), Comprehensive Environmental
Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA), Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA), Clean Water
Act (CWA) and Clean Air Act (CAA).

The Roadmap describes EPA’s plan for implementing the following strategies:

  • Take into account the full lifecycle of PFAS
  • Prioritizing prevention of PFAS entering the environment as a “fundamental step” in
    reducing potential risks
  • By investing in scientific research, we can ensure science-based decision-making
    Polluters must be held accountable
  • Ensure the protection of disadvantaged communities. Some of the key regulatory actions,
    which reflect “bolder new policies,” have been assigned to specific EPA program offices with
    implementation expected to take place between 2021 and 2024.

With the release of the Roadmap, EPA has quickly moved forward with the following.

Additionally, the EPA released its National PFAS Testing Strategy. On the same date, identification of
potentially hazardous per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances will be identified (“Testing Strategy”),
which will identify which chemicals will be tested under TSCA Section 4. By the end of 2021, the EPA
expects to issue its first batch of test orders.

The EPA released its final toxicity assessment for GenX chemicals (hexafluoropropylene oxide (HFPO)
dimer acid and its ammonium salt), on October 25, 2021. According to the EPA, the safe level for
ingestion of these chemicals is 10 times higher than that for PFOA and PFOS, the two most studied
PFAS compounds. The EPA re-evaluates the toxic information regarding PFOA and PFOS. Below are
the toxic values relevant to these compounds.

PFAS Compound Chronic RfD (mg/kg-day)
PFOA (2016) 0.00002
PFOS (2016) 0.00002
PFBS (2021) 0.0003
PFBA (Proposed 2021) 0.001
GenX (2021) 0.000003
  • In response to the Governor of New Mexico’s petition, EPA announced on October 26,
    2021 that it would partially grant the petition and initiate two rulemakings. According
    to 40 CFR 261 Appendix VIII, the first rulemaking proposes the addition of PFOA,
    PFOS, GenX and PFBS to the list of hazardous constituents under RCRA. A proposed
    rule is developed by evaluating the existing data for these chemicals and building a
    record to support it. In the second rulemaking, it will be clarified that emerging
    contaminants like PFAS can be dealt with under RCRA’s Corrective Action Program.

The following EPA initiatives will be released by the end of 2021:

  • In the Fall of 2021, the Fifth Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule (UCMR 5)
    requiring drinking water systems to monitor for 29 PFAS will be finalized.
  • By the end of 2021, identification of PFAS categories will help the EPA identify gaps in
    coverage for both hazard assessment and removal technology development.

EPA will continue, or launch, various regulatory programs consistent with its stated objective to
“utilize the full range of statutory authorities to confront the human health and ecological risks of
PFAS.” A number of these actions will have significant consequences. These include the following:

  • Using TSCA authority, EPA plans to finalize a rule by the Winter of 2022 that will
    collect extensive data regarding the uses, volumes, disposal, exposures, and hazards
    of PFAS manufactured and imported, including imported products containing PFAS,
    since 2011.
  • Under CERCLA authority, EPA plans to issue a long-anticipated proposed rule
    designating PFOA and PFOS as hazardous substances in the Spring of 2022. It is
    expected to be finalized in the Summer of 2023.
  • As part of its SDWA authority, EPA plans to move forward with the development of a
    national primary drinking water regulation for PFOA and PFOS starting in the Fall of
    2022 and expected to be finalized by the Fall of 2023.
  • EPA is hosting two public webinars as part of its stakeholder engagement efforts.